Woody Allen Coasters

Thursday, April 15, 2004 1:44 PM
Forgive me if this has been discussed in the past:

Last night I saw parts of Woddy Allens "Radio Days" on tv. As so often with his movies, its set in the "nostalgic" past and a little, red haired boy and a wooden coaster are cast.

Coney Islands "Thunderbolt" is certainly the most famous woodie in movie history (any others?) but what are the small coaster cameos in "Radio Days" and "Purple Rose of Cairo"?

In "Radio Days" the boy walks past a wall and a wooden turnaround is looming above. I think it has "Playland" written on it. Right next to the coaster is an urban area with victorian houses.

In "Purple Rose" there is an old (possibly)defunct park used as a location. They are even filming on the station of a wooden coaster.

I am sure this is common knowledge, but it escaped me ;)

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 2:40 PM
Wasn't Rockaway?
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 4:09 PM
The Atom Smasher, from Playland at Rockaway Beach, NY, was the coaster featured in "Radio Days." However I believe the coaster was long gone when the movie was filmed. I think Allen recreated the Playland fascade and the turnaround.

Not sure about "Purple Rose" but I suspect it's also a NYC-area coaster.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 4:35 PM
millrace will have to verify this one, but I am pretty sure that the Purple Rose of Cairo was filmed at Bertrand Island. I know that a Woody Allen movie was filmed at the park after it closed in 1983, before it was bulldozed for condos (that just got built this year, by the way.) millrace... you there?
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 5:19 PM
I checked rcdb on the Bertrand Island Woodie and it looks like such a good Schmeck-ride. It is very likely the one used in "Puprle Rose".

About Atom Smasher: "Radio Days" was released in 1987, most likely shot in 86. According to rcdb, the ride operated until ยด85. If it was not immediately torn down, it could still be the original. But the film just shows a short glimpse at the ride and it could easily be a mock-up.

Thanks for the info.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 6:00 PM
Thanks, tricktrack. It could very well be the real thing.
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Friday, April 16, 2004 10:27 AM
The Bertrand coaster was supposedly a very good ride. Two effective double dips... or so I'm told! It was a Schmeck out-and-back, so how bad could it have been?
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Tuesday, April 20, 2004 8:46 PM
I'm here Rob, better late than never huh?

Yup, Bertrand's Wildcat was indeed featured in "Purple Rose of Cairo." The filming took place after the park closed for good.

Incidently, does anybody know if this movie is available anyplace? I found an old worn-out copy at a video store once but I never saw it there again. I'm kicking myself for not making a copy.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004 10:41 PM
I can't ever recall seeing that movie in any store or any rental place. Then again, its probably a movie I never looked for before I found out it featured Bertrand Island.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 12:31 AM
I found it in a creepy little store with what were probably the scariest looking employees I've ever encountered. The movie didn't even have a real box anymore - just a piece of carboard shrinked wrapped to a block of styrofoam with "Purple Rose of Cairo" hand written in red magic marker. I was excited when I found it - I had been looking for years.

Funny thing is I still rent movies from this place because they are dirt cheap and have a lot of weird stuff! It's getting harder and harder now because they seem to be dumping all the VHS in favor of DVD only (of couse I could just *buy* a dang DVD player but it might look funny next to the coat hanger and duct tape rabbit ears on the TV).

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 9:55 AM
You can pick up decent DVD players for $50 or so, although a lot of those old movies may not be available on DVD. Any chance you have a pic of the rabbit ears contraption you have come up with? THAT I gotta see :)
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 11:23 AM
I have a feeling many of Allen's movies are slated for special DVD releases...perhaps a boxed set.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 11:25 AM
You mean John Allen made MOVIES too....;)
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 11:38 AM
No pics of the rabbit ears yet. the only way I could get *any* reception was to have the anntenna sticking straight out into the room. Of course I would walk by and bump into them about a dozen times day which eventually bent the ends so much they broke off. The coat hanger worked for a while but I think it works just as well without it. I gotta duct them to stay in the correct angle.

I should skip the $50 DVD player and buy a new anttenna!

Cable free since 11/20/99!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 11:42 AM
A new antenna? That would work ;)
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Thursday, April 22, 2004 6:08 AM
Amazon has most, if not all Allen films available. A bit pricey, but they're worth it if you're that way inclined. There's also three or so Woody Allen Collectors bundles on Amazon that have a bunch of his films in each. Again, probably only for the more serious Heywood Allen fan.

Of course nothing beats that classic scene in Annie Hall with Thunderbolt going overhead and the whole house shaking (scrap that... the whole movie beginning to end is a classic).

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Thursday, April 22, 2004 8:15 AM
speaking of roller coasters in the movies, does anyone know the name of the coaster in cinerama?
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Thursday, April 22, 2004 11:05 AM
^It was the Atom Smasher too:

http://www.rcdb.com/quicksearch.htm?quicksearch=atom+smasher

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